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Loneliness and Its Cure.

Loneliness and Its Cure.

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Published by glennpease
BY JOHN HAMPDEN GUENEY


PSALM cxix. 19.

" I am a stranger in the earth ; hide not Thy command
ments from me."
BY JOHN HAMPDEN GUENEY


PSALM cxix. 19.

" I am a stranger in the earth ; hide not Thy command
ments from me."

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 22, 2013
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05/14/2014

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LOELIESS AD ITS CURE.BY JOH HAMPDE GUEEYPSALM cxix. 19." I am a stranger in the earth ; hide not Thy commandments from me."THERE is double force in these words when weconsider the rank and position of the writer.Vagabonds and outcasts whom no one can respect, or lone, friendless persons who live out of sight, and tread their allotted path almost without companions, may well talk in this strain, andfeel sometimes that they are almost like intrudersin a world where others seem at home. But herewe find a King talking like one who is disownedand deserted. The man who could dispense hissmiles amid a crowd of flatterers, and fill hispalace with companions all of whom would profess themselves his devoted servants, confesses tofeelings something like those of the homelesswanderer. Among the meditations of his privatehours, written for our instruction in this noblePsalm, we meet with this sentence of doleful184 LOELIESS AD ITS CURE.sound, and wonder whither his friends weregone.And yet for King and peasant alike, if they beonly thoughtful men, and douhly so, if they hereligious men, such confessions are surely appropriate. For we are occupants, not proprietors, of the very houses we have built, and of the castles
 
wherein we have stored our treasures. We liveon sufferance, like travellers permitted by theowner of the soil to pitch their tents on someselected spot, but sure to be summoned, almostbefore they are well rested, to a fresh stage intheir march. If a man claims lordship any where,he must know how to keep away spoilers andintruders. He must bid defiance to accident andchange. He must say to Disease, so as to beheard and obeyed, " Come not hither, but seek thy victims elsewhere." Our stay is too short,the future is too uncertain, death is too busy allround us, the inner circle of our best loved companions is too surely exposed to fierce assaultsfrom an unrelenting and invincible foe, for anyname to befit us but that of sojourners in astrange land ; and they are the wisest to whomthis thought has grown familiar by observationand experience.But, apart from our uncertain hold on life, thereare many seasons when we feel strange to thosewho are about us, and a sense of loneliness becomesfor the time oppressive. Thoughtful persons, of LOELIESS AD ITS CURE. 185rni and strong affections, as one stage aftertoother is passed in their pilgrimage, are startled3o:netimes to find how little real hold they haveupon the world that is moving and shifting allromd them. The old familiar circle is brokenup, and now, perhaps, the faces are seen butseldom which were gathered round one board inthe bright morning of life. The friends, whovowed, eternal constancy in youth, are bound bynew ties, engrossed with cares and business inwhich we can take no part, or citizens of some far
 
country to which we never dream of migrating.Unless the loss be supplied by fresh gains, andother friends take the place of those who are drifted:o a distance by the cross currents of life, we mayook round when forty years, or fifty, are gone by,and feel almost like stragglers in the desert, whohave missed the track, and find their companionsout of sight. " / am a stranger in the earth" will3e the natural exclamation of one thus left; "Idid not seem so once ; but the course of years, thescattering of early associates, the wearing out of Id friendships, misunderstandings not cleared up,which ended in coldness and suspicion, changes of character and pursuits in one party or in both,all these things have given the world another look and shape. I pass the spot sometimes where my)righter days were spent; but it is peopled withsad memories, and scenes of past enjoyment flit)efore me almost like visions which belong tosome other state of being. I wear a smooth brow,186 LOELIESS AD ITS CURE.and go through the dull routine of life as best Ican ; but the heart yearns, in many a solitaryhour, for the warm greetings which do not come,and for the missing companions whom I must seeBut there are other things, besides actual lossesand separations, which bring a sense of lonelinessover men s minds, and lead them to feel strangewhere other men are quite at home. Some persons stand out from the crowd which is content tosail with the stream, refuse to give back the echo of the popular voice, and have far deeper thoughts of life and its solemn responsibilities. They refuse

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